And so after much anticipation “ The Full Monty,” a production which has won the UK Theatre Award for the Best Touring Production, arrived in Swindon to grace the stage at The Wyvern Theatre.
The cast was led by the impressive Gary Lucy as Gaz, along with Andrew Dunn as Gerald, Louis Emerick as Horse and Joe Gill as Lomper. Add to that already impressive roll call Kai Owen and James Redmond and there was no denying that the show boasts a very high quality cast indeed. But a good cast is not the only thing that makes a top production; chemistry, excitement and fun are often the magic ingredients that turn a good show into a truly great show and it just so happens that The Full Monty has those in spades as well.
Arriving to watch the show I was hesitant as to what the next few hours would bring, the film version has been a massive success story for the British Film Industry, but a theatre production and a film are markedly different formats and so I was hoping the stage production would not fall short of expectations. Thankfully I was not disappointed.
It is actually a brilliant production, accessible, fun and also at times poignant, a show that really brings to life the six out of work Sheffield steel workers desperate to make money with nothing to lose. The production has moved from screen to stage effortlessly securing a place as one of the most popular shows doing the rounds at the moment.
The story has been adapted slightly from the film version, it’s a natural process as what works in one medium isn’t always suitable for another but all the important ingredients are there. Those already familiar with the story won’t be disappointed and those new to the tale will be entranced and everyone will be laughing uncontrollably at the iconic post office dance routine.
And of course the show is all about the art of the tease, I’m not saying that it isn’t a show that the husbands and boyfriends will enjoy too but the very nature of the story is designed to titillate and of course the idea of 6 northern hunks becoming strippers is certainly aimed more at the ladies. But it is all tasteful and subtly done and so like all such performances the excitement is mainly in the expectations and anticipation of the watcher rather than anything more visually gratuitous.
The second half of the show is where the excitement builds as we head towards the big reveal…pun intended…and as the jokes came thicker and faster the excitement and fun continued to build. To be honest there was hardly a moment when there wasn’t a peel of hoots and laughter coming from the audience. And then of course…the big finish, the climax of the show and suddenly it is all over, the crowd is cheering and a well-deserved standing ovation is being given. Spectacular, and chaps, this makes for the ideal date night for the lady in your life, you’ll have more fun than you think and she will love you for it.
It’s safe to say that I will be urging everyone I know to see the show and you can catch it at the Wyvern Theatre between now and November 3rd.